The commander of U.S. Special Forces operations in Africa said the U.S. military will be providing communications equipment and intelligence with African allies to assist them with the fight against Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. Alack of compatible communications equipment in the past has made it hard to swap information and coordinate with other West African military commanders during cross-border operations against the Islamist groups.
Major General James Linder also said that, as part of the annual U.S.-sponsored “Flintlock” counter-terrorism exercises this year in Chad, the United States would be introducing a technology that will allow African partners to communicate between cellphones, radios and computers. The RIOS system would also allow soldiers in the field to remotely transmit photos that can capture the coordinates of the personnel to a central command room.
Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in their goal to establish a caliphate in Northern Nigeria. On Tuesday, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, appeared in a video where he threatened to disrupt the upcoming general elections in Nigeria while condemning regional governments for not following Sharia law.